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Giovanni's Room
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message 1: by Peggy (last edited May 25, 2018 11:26AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Peggy Walsh | 35 comments from the book jacket:

Set in the 1950s Paris of American expatriates, liasons,and violence, a young man finds himself caught between desire and conventional morality. With a sharp, probing imagination, James Baldwin's now classic narrative delves into the mystery of loving and creates a moving, highly controversial story of death and passion that reveals the unspoken complexities of the human heart.


Peggy Walsh | 35 comments Giovanni’s Room

Part One

The opening about his first encounter with a boy is painful. No more painful than a girl and a boy. The experience is overwhelming and frightening. There is shame anger cruelty

Then the story jumps from His relationship with his father and aunt to his status of engaged. He goes to Paris and runs out of money then Giovanni is being executed the next day and we have no idea why. David is getting drunk and we’re unsure of his status with hela. Then we bounce back to David meeting Giovanni and his confusion about his passion and attraction. I have no idea what is going on. It seems David is unsure of his sexuality. From his first encounter with a boy to his engagement to hela and then his meeting with Giovanni. I feel I’m missing the impact this book must have had when it was published. I did some reading and have a brief history of gay activism. It seems to me that culture and society impose shame and anger on people of different sexual orientations. Reading part one, made me think of the civil rights movement of the 60s. I don’t understand how people can judge and persecute someone, for who they are.


Peggy Walsh | 35 comments Part two

Just finished this tonight. What a powerful book. Shattering. Everyone lost. Did anyone else read this? How were you impacted by it?


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